Saturday, July 12, 2008

Obama like the Cowardly Lion from Wizard of Oz

IN the movie "Wizard of Oz", when we first meet the Cowardly Lion, he is quite the talker. Standing before the cowering trio of Dorothy, Tin Man, and Scarecrow, he challenges them to a fight:

Put 'em up! Put 'em up! Which one of you first? I'll fight you both together if you want! I'll fight you with one paw tied behind my back. I'll fight you standing on one foot. I'll fight you with my eyes closed.

So long as the Tin man and the Scarecrow are intimidated, Lion continues his brave front:

How long can you stay fresh in that can? (laughs) Come on -- get up and fight, you shivering junk yard! Put your hands up, you lop-sided bag of hay!

Of course, we all know what happens next. Lion goes after Toto, and Dorothy, ever the brave young girl, slaps his hand. And the brave Lion broke into tears.

Obama reminds me of the Cowardly Lion, hardly the picture you want to project if you are looking to be the leader of the Free World.

See, when he still had the reputation as a great speaker, while McCain was ridiculed as being unable to string sentences together, Obama gave the equivalent of the Cowardly Lion's calling-out (Chicago Tribune, May 17, 2008):

Challenging McCain to a debate on foreign policy "anywhere, any time," the Democratic front-runner said the Arizonan shared a "naive and irresponsible belief that tough talk from Washington will somehow cause Iran to give up its nuclear program and support for terrorism."

But it turns out that McCain, a decorated war hero, wasn't as easy to intimidate as a scarecrow. McCain took up Obama on his challenge, offering a series of town hall meetings on various subjects including foreign policy.

The New York Times now reports that Obama, like the Cowardly Lion, has chickened out:

Obama Won’t Commit to Event at Military Base

A coalition of military groups is planning a nationally televised town-hall-style meeting with the presidential candidates near Fort Hood, Tex., the largest active-duty military installation in the country. But so far, only Senator John McCain of Arizona, the presumptive Republican nominee, has agreed to attend.
Carissa Picard, managing director of the Fort Hood Presidential Town Hall Consortium, said she had suggested Aug. 11 and asked the campaign to suggest other dates if that was not convenient, but after several conversations she had not been able to work anything out.

“I’m having extreme difficulty getting the Obama campaign to commit to this event, and we do not understand why,” said Ms. Picard, whose husband is deployed in Iraq. “We made it very clear to them that if they would commit to the event, we would work with them on dates.”

The Cowardly Lion shirked away from his promised battle because he lacked courage. Maybe that is why Obama won't appear on stage with McCain anytime, anywhere.

Obama has made a lot of promises in his short campaign for President. Time and again, he has broken those promises. Whether he is backing out of debates, reversing his pledge to adhere to public financing guidelines, or even stupid promises like his promise to filibuster the FISA bill, One thing is certain -- Obama is the "change" candidate.

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